János Süli, minister without portfolio responsible for the Paks 2 nuclear project in Hungary, and representatives of the Czech, Polish and Slovak governments signed the joint statement during a visit to the Paks nuclear station.
The statement said the Visegrad Group is committed to the use of nuclear energy because nuclear plants can help the EU reach its climate neutrality goals while strengthening security of supply and providing clean electricity at affordable prices.
The four governments called on Brussels to treat nuclear energy as a sustainable energy source in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.
There is a big debate within the 27-member bloc about whether nuclear should be considered a clean source of energy.
The European commission decided not to include nuclear energy in the taxonomy, but said it would include it under a complementary delegated act. The act would include the technical screening criteria for determining the conditions under which nuclear could qualify as contributing to sustainability and climate change mitigation.
The Visegrad Group is a cultural and political alliance of four central European countries – Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia – all of which are members of the EU and of Nato.
The four countries have 14 commercially operating nuclear power reactors between them. Poland does not have any, but has announced ambitious plans for new build.
The Visegrad declaration follows a similar declaration by 10 EU countries – including the Visegrad four – who spoke out in support of nuclear power, saying it is “absolutely essential” nuclear is included in the framework of the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy before the end of this year.
In an opinion article in a number of European newspapers, the countries said nuclear energy is an affordable, stable and independent energy resource. Firstly, because it protects European consumers from price volatility, unlike gas. Secondly, because it contributes decisively to the independence of the EU’s sources of energy and electricity production.
Ministers from Germany, Austria, Portugal, Denmark and Luxembourg have announced that they are against the inclusion of nuclear energy in the taxonomy. They said in a joint declaration that the inclusion of nuclear power would harm the taxonomy’s credibility and its usefulness.